DAY-LIGHT SAVING TIME EST
TURN CLOCK TIMES BACK ONE (1) HOUR SATURDAY NIGHT ( Nov. 04)
Swami Traveling to India
Swami Yogatmananda is on a 5-week trip to India from Oct 10 – Nov. 13. Click here for his travel details.
Guest Lectures this Week:
Fri. Nov. 03 – Srikanth Srigiriraju will speak on: ‘My Pilgrimages: Outer and Inner – Part 3′ from 7:30pm – 8:30pm.
Sun. Nov. 05 – Prof. Tridib Roy will speak on: ‘Sister Nivedita’ from 5pm –6pm
Tues. Nov. 07 –Prof Sukalyan Sengupta will speak on: ‘Gauri-Ma’ from 7:30pm – 8:30pm
All are Welcome.
On Wednesday, Nov. 01 and on Friday, Nov 03, the birth anniversaries of Swami Subodhananda and Swami Vijnanananda (respectively) will be observed with a chant in the morning meditation and a song and short biography reading at evening Aarati.
Day-long Meditation – Sat. Nov. 04
Session begins at 12 noon after the 11am – 12noon guided meditation & singing. Entries will be locked till 6:30 PM. Simple vegetarian food is available. Use of cell phones/tablets/computers, etc prohibited.
Just Kids! Time- Sun. Nov. 05
From 4pm –6pm, Just Kids! 2-hour program will be conducted by Prof. Dorothy Abram and Chet Boncek. All children from ages five (5) to twelve(12) are welcome.
Sitar Concert – Sun. Nov. 19
From 6:00pm – 7:30pm, Sun. Nov. 19, Srinivas Reddy will perform Sitar in the Lower Level. All are welcome.
Day-long Retreat – Sat. Dec. 02
A day-long retreat from 10:00AM –7:00PM, conducted by Swami Yogatmananda on the topic: ‘Learning to Breathe’. Registration fee is $30.00/per person. $20.00/per person, if registered by Fri. Nov. 24. Registration available in bookstore before classes. Online registration will be available soon.
Hath Yoga Classes with Roshni Darnal– Tuesdays, 5:30 – 6:30pm
Appropriate for all levels.
$10.00 per Class; $40.00 for a two-month session
Click here to see the flyer.
Weekly Schedule (in addition to Daily Schedule given below)
|Friday, Nov. 03||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Srikanth Srigiriraju will speak on: ‘My Pilgrimages: Outer & Inner – Part 3’
|Saturday, Nov. 04||8:30 – 10:30 AM: Karma Yoga/Cleaning
11:00 AM – 12 noon: Guided meditation and chanting/singing
12 Noon – 7:00 PM: Day-long meditation
7:00 – 8:30 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & Meditation
|Sunday, Nov. 05||5:00 – 6:00 PM: Prof. Tridib Roy will speak on: ‘Sister Nivedita’
6:00 – 6:15 PM: Aarati
6:15 – 7:30 PM: Soup Supper
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM: Meditation
|Tuesday, Nov. 07||7:00 PM: Aarati (devotional music) & meditation
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Sukalyan Sengupta will speak on: ‘Gauri Ma- A Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna’
|Morning||5:45 – 6:45 AM: Meditation
6:45 – 7:00 AM: Chanting followed by a short reading from The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda
7:00 – 7:25 AM: A short ritual worship/Puja. Open to all.
|Evening||7:00 – 7:15 PM: Aarti (devotional music), with a short reading from ‘THE STORY OF AN EPOCH: Swami Virajananda and his Times’, by Swami Shraddhananda
7:15 – 8:00 PM: Meditation. Open to all.
On Friday, Oct. 27, Srikanth Srigiriraju spoke on: ‘My Pilgrimages: Outer & Inner’
On Sunday, Oct 29, Chester Boncek spoke on: ‘Vedantic Integration of Personality ‘
On Tuesday, Oct. 31, Prof. Sukalyan Sengupta spoke on ‘Aghormani Devi: A Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna’
Please scroll down for the synopses of above lectures.
Click here to see photos.
Synopses of Past Classes
Guest Lecture – ‘My Pilgrimages: Outer & Inner – Part 2’ by Srikanth Srigiriraju – Fri. Oct. 27
The topic of discussion was what one needs to do during the pilgrimage. The speaker covered various aspects of the pilgrimage: travel, stay, food, spiritual practice. The other aspects will be covered in the next lecture on Nov. 03 (Fri).
Travel: The mode of travel determines your experience – comfort level and the company of people you get. Harder the journey more rewarding the experience it is: stronger memories form to recall the pilgrimage easily later from comforts of one’s home, reliance on God and focusing on the present moment is better, nice company of pilgrims who are not only devoted but also sweet in nature due to having faced hardships more often unlike those pilgrims who opt for comfort.
Stay: Choosing to stay in monasteries, guest houses of temples and inns with devotional atmosphere which provide only basic amenities is better than staying in a hotel with all comforts and modern amenities.
Food: Simple food cooked devotionally in temples, monasteries and inns with devotional atmosphere is better than regular restaurants. The speaker mentioned the three defects of food to be avoided so as to attain pure mind: jaati (nature), aashraya (cook and server), nimitta (physical purity). Wastage of food and having strong likes-dislikes about it must be avoided.
Spiritual practice: The soul of the pilgrimage. Darshan or viewing of deity with using any technique based on one’s temperament: superimposing one’s ideal on the deity, meditating on the attributes or taking a witness attitude to see the image as the representation of the formless impersonal Self. Incessant chanting of name or mantra of the deity, meditating on the form or the legends associated with the deity. Attend the daily and special rituals in the temple, participate in prayer groups and meditation/contemplation, spiritual discourses form other practices.
Guest Lecture – Vedantic Integration of Personality – by Chester Boncek – Sun. Oct. 29
We may ask why we need to integrate the personality, when Vedanta espouses rejecting the body and mind. Until we attain liberation, we still have to deal with the ego. In his book Meditation and Spiritual Life, Swami Yatiswarananda has a full chapter on the integration of personality as part of the Vedantic path. We dismantle the ego by serving God in humankind. The Bhagavad Gita takes place on a battlefield, representing, for yogis, the internal battlefield. We live in a world of our own making, due to the ‘sins’ of omission, distortion, and bias selection. Quantum psychology says that we cannot reject or transcend anything until we understand it. Our false core consists of the underlying assumption that organizes our life. This leads to the false self. We are misled by the subconscious, so we need to have a Guru who sees us differently than we see ourselves. It is easy to reject physical objects as not I, but harder to reject our emotions as not I. When we ‘churn’ the mind through meditation, ‘poison’ may come out at first. Nisargadatta Maharaj says that even thoughts of our individuality come from the collective. God appears in religions as Friend, Lover, Father (Ruler, Lawgiver), Mother (Caretaker), Child, the Elements, Animals, or Papa Purusha (anti-Deity). All religion consists of attempts to transcend the senses. Swami Vivekananda says that there is no need for conversion, because we are what we seek. Totapuri saw the reality of the Divine Mother, when, after a personal struggle, he saw Her on all sides.
Guest Lecture – ‘Aghormani Devi- A Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna’ by Sukalyan Sengupta – Tues. Oct. 31
Aghormani Devi – popularly known as Gopaler Maa amongst the devotees of Sri Ramakrishna, was an exemplar of Bhakti. She worshipped baby Krishna (Gopal) as her own child. She was born in 1822, married at an early age of nine years. She became a child widow and led a disciplined life according to the prevailing customs of the society for the widows. She used to get up at 2 am every morning and practice her Japa for 5 to 6 hours. Then after taking bath she used to cook a simple meal and offer it to God. After a little rest in the afternoon she used to visit the temple and again spend the evening in Japa. She continued her intense spiritual practices with such tenacity for thirty years.
She met Sri Ramakrishna in the fall of 1884 for the first time. After 6 months or so she experienced that Sri Ramakrishna has become her Gopal and demanding food and her attention. She visited the Master in an ecstatic state. On this occasion she experienced the oneness of Gopal – her chosen ideal, with the Master. She continued to experience this for a few days. She felt the physical presence of that little Gopala with her all the time bothering her, troubling her, pleasing her and also helping her at times. After this experience Master started calling her Gopaler Maa.
Sri Ramakrishna assured her that she has achieved the ultimate goal of spiritual life and any additional spiritual practices were not required for her. But she continued to do her spiritual practices for the well-being of the Master. Later on Swami Vivekananda also validated the highest state of her experience.
She continued to visit Baranagar Math after Master’s passing away. In 1902, when she became very sick, Sister Nivedita looked after and served her in spite of many financial hardships. Towards the last days of her life, Gopal’s Mother saw Gopal even in Holy Mother. She left her body in 1906 on the bank of the Ganges.